Comedian's 'campaign of abuse against girlfriend'

Justin Lee Collins demanded dossier on her previous sexual experiences, court told

The comedian and television presenter Justin Lee Collins subjected his girlfriend to a campaign of physical assault and harassment during which he forced her to compile a graphic dossier of every sexual experience she had ever had, a court heard.

The 38-year-old threatened to kill Anna Larke, with whom he had a nine-month relationship, if she told anyone that he had “smacked” her in the face, as he sought to control every aspect of her life, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Mr Collins, who came to fame with Channel 4’s The Friday Night Project and appeared in the West End musical Rock Of Ages until this week, denies harassing Ms Larke, a recovering alcoholic who met the star while he was still married and who moved in with him in 2011.

Peter Shaw, prosecuting, told the court: “The main part of that relationship was characterised by this defendant exerting control over her, verbally abusing her and physically assaulting her.”

Mr Shaw said: “Once, when the defendant lost his temper with Ms Larke, he slapped her in the face.

“He told her, in effect, she must like it in a sexual way because she had allowed a previous boyfriend to do so. He wanted to know from her why he couldn’t slap her in the face.”

Mr Collins listened as Mr Shaw added that he had threatened to “put her in hospital unless she shut up” and that once, after becoming jealous of a previous lover, he had smacked her between the legs with an open hand.

On a trip to Miami in March 2011, Mr Collins had grabbed his partner’s hair and pulled her to the floor, the barrister said. “He pinned her down and spat in her face. She was screaming so loudly that a member of the hotel staff attended the room to see what was happening.”

In May that year, Mr Collins returned home from filming abroad and was “angry” that Ms Larke had only managed to attend one Alcoholics Anonymous meeting that day rather than two. “He accused her of infidelity,” said Mr Shaw. “He was slapping her and she was forced to flee the flat screaming for help.”

The court heard that Mr Collins instructed Ms Larke always to sleep facing him and to compile a dossier.

“The purpose of the notebook was to list every sexual experience with every one of Ms Larke’s previous lovers or partners,” Mr Shaw said.

“He would ask her questions and then write it down. She felt it was a disgusting thing to have to do and she was worried she would lose him by doing it.

“He sometimes accused her of lying about the details of her past and initially she did lie about her past because she regarded it as acutely private, but he told her that it would help the relationship and help him deal with her past.”

Ms Larke made recordings of rows with Mr Collins, which the court heard. At one point he states she had unprotected sex "on a train with [people from] different ethnicities".

The recording also captured Mr Collins subjecting Ms Larke, in his distinctive West Country accent, to a torrent of abuse.

In a police interview, Mr Collins denied ever assaulting Ms Larke “other than slapping her cheek to calm her when she’d been self-harming.”

Mr Collins told detectives that Ms Larke was the possessive one in the relationship.

The case continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road